Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Do organisations really understand Sourcing?

Quick answer is that companies do obviously recognise that sourcers play an important part of their overall recruitment strategy, but they are not always sure how they should be deployed and at what stage of the process. Recently I have spoken with a number of big name tech organisations who see sourcers as purely an extension of the recruiter who are working their magic on CVDB's or ATS filtering CV's doing a basic screening and then passing the CV along to the next stage.

We also offer a lot more to the process from being part of the intake discussion, setting out the sourcing strategy, understanding the talent landscape & executing on outbound campaigns and all the work and reporting that goes around that.

How many times are sourcers really at the heart of the discussion when corportate decisions are being made say when a company plans to open a sales office in the middle of nowhere only to find that the talent is not there? Hardly ever !! Sourcing can provide talent heatmaps before those decisions are made, which could save a who lot of headaches further down the line.

The business also needs to play it's part in supporting sourcing too. The so called "War for Talent" is definitely on and whilst sourcers are conveying the company's message like it's selling the next Apple or Google, candidates need a bit more convincing. I have been bleeting on for the last 2-3 years that companies need to deploy more "Brand ambassadors" who are talking about their industry or technologies in the public domain which will drive interest to their corporate or social landing pages. Candidates don't expect me to talk low level technical code, but they do expect me to be able to articulate the value proposition of the organisation which will hopefully bring them to the front door. Organisations need to define their CVP so that there's consistant messaging when selling to candidates. I bet if you ask 10 senior leaders of an organisation what is our CVP? you could possibly end up with 10 different responses = inconsistant messaging.

Also sourcers by nature should be testing new tools understanding how technology and the internet can build the company's brand, how we stay connected to engaged candidates and continiously build pipelines of talent that the business crave.

Overall companies are wising up to Sourcing, but we need to start making sure that the sourcers voice is heard at he highest levels of the business and it understands the value we can bring outside of just finding candidates, otherwise we will never be recognised as a key component of recruitment/HR function.

Thankfully @expedia the senior HR leaders understand sourcing and I'm working with a team who have built successful sourcing models at Coke, Starbucks, Google, Microsoft & RIM. As I'm the 1st Sourcer here on the ground globally, I feel extremely privileged to being part of that team.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Martin Freeman's Sourcing Tips & Tricks

Hi my name is name is Martin Freeman and I have been an Internet Research & Sourcing Specialist based in London, UK. I have over 12 years experience working within both agency side and in-house recruitment organisations working towards mainly high-tech & telecommunications organisations such as RIM, Cisco, Betfair, Ericsson’s, Nokia, T-Mobile & O2 to name a few.
I tried to stay away from the world of on-line blogging as I felt it was more to do with self-promotion rather than being influential around a subject matter, but I finally succumbed to the inevitable and have written my 1st blog. Why now !! Well if I’m honest I’m still not entirely sure. I’m often asked for advice around a sourcing challenge that a colleague is facing and I managed to muster up a solution from the grey matter, so decided to share these tips with my network in case it could be useful for others when I move on to future projects.
First of all I don’t claim to be the oracle of all things Sourcing and my methods may not translate to all sourcing models, but here is a list of websites that could be useful for finding passive candidates or just keeping up to date with new sourcing trends
Sourcing information/communities

Recruiters World              ERE                         Recruitingblogs                 Guy Kawasaki                   Booleanbar                      Sourcecon               Boolean Blackbelt
Networking Sites

Linkedin                               Xing                       E-cademy                            Twitter                                 Google+
Metacrawlers & Deep Web Search Engines

Metacrawlers search multiple search engines at the same time bringing you back the widest possible search results. Deep web engines (also known as the invisible web) searches blog sites, social media pages and other obscure websites where an email address holder may have set-up an account. is a good example of finding people quickly on Social Media sites just from an email address. (m) = Metacrawler website

Here is a list of sites I use to try generate leads etc

Spoke                                Plaxo                              Addictomatic (m)             Complete Planet (m)  
Dogpile (m)                       Icerocket (m)                 Metacrawler (m)              Monstercrawler (m)
T10 (m)                             Twitter Search               Wink                                  Isearch
Pipl                                    Enigma Search              HR Zone                            Gist
Duckduckgo (m)                Google Alerts                Worky                      

Advanced Sourcing techniques:
Firstly all Gaps between words in Google is as same as writing AND. i.e. java developer is the same as writing Java AND Developer, but the words may not appear side by side. If you are only looking for a phrase, type “Java Developer”. Everything within Brackets ( ) means OR, so (JAVA OR J2EE) Developer = Java OR J2EE AND Developer. Everything outside the brackets is an AND command and must be part of the result where as everything inside is optional.
There is more than one way to skin a cat and sourcing is no different. There are 4 main ways of trying to uncover potential profiles via the internet, the 1st and main one being X-raying.  You can use any of the main search engineers (Google, Bing & Yahoo) to put in the string. I find Google is the most effective search engine for this kind of searching. You will return more raw results searching Linkedin via Google than linkedin itself as some profiles on linkedin are registered as private. Google can see through the private listed profiles to show the full name of the profile owner, hence the term x-raying
Here is a basic example of how an X-ray search string would like using “java developer” Agile (uk OR “united Kingdom” OR london) results show a shy under 1.5million records, but this can be shortened by adding further skills or operators which I will cover below.
Flipping is linking a search term with a website address so using Google again, here is an example. AND “DATABASE Security” AND author – Results = 403000 again you will narrow down the results using further keywords etc, but what you are looking for are names that you cross reference with other sites such as Linkedin etc to approach or maybe get referrals from
Peeling back:
Think of how you save files to personal or network drives on a computer you save to a C drive followed by a folder and then within that folder you have a sub folder, websites are developed using the same principle. It is a little tedious, but you may just uncover a gem. Start by copying and pasting a URL and keeping removing the URL address back to the last / so for example:
You could combine this with the Flip search technique and again what you are trying to find are names that you can cross reference and approach.
Basic Boolean:
The basic commands of Boolean searching is using simple commands such as AND, OR, NEAR & NOT. When typing this in Google always use capitals as this identifies it as a command rather than searching the word. There are also some key symbols that can be used also such as +, -, ~, “ “ and *.
+ = AND, - = NOT, ~ (Tilda) looks for related words so ~CV will look for related words such as curriculum vitae & resume. * is a wildcard operator (see below for further information). “    ”  binds 2 words together such as “Java Developer”.
Here is a basic string using AND = “Java Developer” AND scala 
Using a string containing NOT = “JAVA Developer” NOT Betfair
Using a string containing ~ = “Java Developer” AND scala ~CV
Using a string containing * = “Java Develop*” AND scala NOT Betfair
Using a string containing NEAR = “Software Engineer” NEAR java
Using a string containing OR = (“java developer” OR “Software Engineer”) JAVA
Proximity Searching:
Allows you to search for terms that have a specified distance between each other, and are in any order. For example:
"QA ENGINEER" NEAR.10 SELENIUM – is Looking for Selenium within 10 words of “QA Engineer”. The number can be changed
FBY operator
Allows you to search for terms that have a specified distance between each other, and are in a specified order. For example:
·         JAVA fby developer
·         Java fby.5 scala
Wildcard operator *
Will retrieve entries for all documents containing the words: creature, creation, create, creating, creator, etc

“Java develop*” = Java Developer OR Java Development

Tilda’s ~ are looking for related words i.e. ~CV looks will look for related words such as Curriculum Vitae or Resume

Intitle: looks for words within a web pages title – Then add your phrases i.e “project manager” London
Inurl: looks for words within the URL address – again add key words
inurl:pub – Looks for all profile regardless or private or public status (only when using Google). Use during x-ray.
Random search strings which you can amend the phrases then copy/paste into Google (inurl:experience | inurl:skills) (“developer” | “programmer”)  java "united kingdom" ("#groovy" | "#SCALA" | "#CLOJURE") (London | "UNITED KINGDOM") intitle:”on pinterest” -inurl:pins (“social media” OR “marketing”) (“London” | “united kingdom” | “UK” ) intitle:profile (London | UK | "UNITED Kingdom") (developer OR programmer) "java developer" (london | uk | "united kingdom") -inurl:companies -intitle:directory -inurl:updates -inurl:updates -hiring –job ("qa analyst" | “qa engineer”) (london | uk | "united kingdom") (java | scala | groovy | clojure) -inurl:companies -intitle:directory -inurl:updates -inurl:updates -hiring –job
I can be followed on twitter @martin_freeman